By Bianca Anderson
His House is unique compared to other on-campus ministries as it is community-based and welcomes all students, whether or not they attend WMU.
Throughout Michigan, there are 11 non-profit His Houses located on college campuses. His House is located on Western Michigan University’s main campus and sits on Knollwood Avenue at the round-about. The HH organization at WMU owns two other houses on either side of His House, which only allows male residents. One of the houses is for the campus minister and his wife to work. The other is for female residents. His House is the communal building at which guests are free to come eat, watch movies, and interact with peers. Some call it a hang out.
The back door opens then closes.
A note on the front door ask all guest to remove their shoes. A pleasant, clean smell fills the house; everyone who lives here takes turns helping out and cleaning up.
His House host movie nights, career workshops and have weekly meetings on Thursday evening. Some student took a trip during spring break to Cookson Hills, a ministry for abused and neglected children, to help the staff and the families that reside there.
Joshaua Rohde sits on one of the five couches in the living room of the nine-bedroom house.
Rohde spends a lot of time at HH, where he is in a leadership position. He doesn’t stay at His House but enjoys being there “a community, a place to go, a lot of making friends,” he says.
“This ministry changed my life and I’m glad I’m a part of it, this is gonna be a huge part of my life for the rest of my life, my kids are going to know about this.”
The door opens again. A student walks up the stairs, just before the kitchen.
Sitting on another couch, located by the fireplace, is a resident of His House, Rashad Talton. Talton, who attends Kalamazoo Valley Community College, has stayed at HH for three years. He first heard about HH five years ago from a friend, who lived at the house throughout his time at Western.
According to Talton, living at HH means he gets to learn about different people — those he lives with and those who visit. The ministry of the organization appeals to Talon too, whether its activities or “spreading the gospel.”
Another student enters and takes a seat on another couch. She tends to her phone.
As Rohde leaves the living room, in comes Emily Popielarz, a coordinator at His House. “His House is an opportunity for students to learn about God, the Bible, what it means to live out faith in Jesus and doing that together in a community,” she says.
According to Popielarz, the HH mission is to help address both the emotional and physical aspects of students’ lives. “We try to meet needs.”